|(Tim & Janice Phillips, Mikayla and Jayson)|
Briefly share your salvation experience and your call to ministry.
I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’. I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When I was 7 our pastor’s daughter was baptized, through her testimony it dawned on me that I needed to make my own profession of faith, so I knelt in the pew and asked Jesus to forgive me and committed my life to him. When I was 17 my parents moved to Quito, Ecuador. I went to the Alliance Academy to do grade 12. I saw missionaries up close and personal… anyway the experience changed my life. I came back to Canada and started school in Regina, Saskatchewan to become a missionary. After earning a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in missiology I went to Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire to Bethel Dorm to be a Dorm assisstant. I was there from 1991-2001, where I met my sweetie who is now my husband, Tim (and still my sweetie). Our daughter Mikaylah was born in 2004 and our son Jayson was born in 2006. We now live in Niamey, Niger where we serve as dorm parents at the Sahel Academy.
What did you do before you were a missionary?
I spent one gap year working at Instant Custom Signs as a manager. I spent another year helping in a church plant in rural Ontario. I also had odd jobs at the YWCA and Menard’s (a hardware store in Indiana).
Tell us about your current ministry. Where are you and what are you doing?
Currently my husband Tim and I are “Co-parents” to 17 teenagers at the Sahel Academy, in Niamey, Niger, West Africa. Our “kids” come from five different “passport countries” Including Benin, Great Britain, Korea, New Zealand and USA. Their parents work in rural Niger, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo. Their parents are in remote villages where there is no way to educate their children. We provide a home away from home so the teens can study at Sahel Academy.
How long have you been serving as a missionary?
What does a typical day look like for you while you are on the field?
Our day usually starts about 6am… after breakfast and morning routine the kids are off to school by 7:25 depending on the day there is either shopping, Bible Study, Dorm Staff meeting or Moms in Touch Prayer Meeting. I am also directing our house helpers. I provide lunch for our house workers and our smallest child is in Kindergarten so he comes home for lunch too. We try to have Siesta after lunch, make snack ready for the kids when they get home from school, then there are piano lessons, homework, supper prep, and after supper devotions. The bedtime routine begins at 7pm and usually all the kids are in bed by 10:30 or 11, depending on the crises of the day 🙂 The weekends are a little more lax but, with 21 people in the house you can imagine the energy 🙂
As you reflect on the years you have spent as a missionary, please share with us some of the highlights of your ministry.
Mentoring kids through their teen years has its own joys and sorrows. Adding the fact that none of these children are in their native culture or living with their nuclear family. Now that many of “my kids” are grown up and are using their lives to glorify God and shine for him wherever they are from Korea to Africa to Europe, Canada and the USA, I am humbled and rejoice that the Lord has allowed me to have an influence on so many.
What have been some of the biggest challenges that you have face on the field?
Probably one of the biggest challenges is raising our own children within our “transient” family. Dealing with the grief of saying “good bye” is something that never goes away, something that we all must deal with until we are finally home in heaven.
What person(s) has had the biggest influence on your life?
Hands down my parents.
What would you say to encourage others (young or old) to consider full-time missions as a profession?
While God can be glorified wherever you are and you can serve him no matter what you do for a living, I can’t get away from the huge need for personnel. I have yet to see a ministry that has said “we have plenty of workers, don’t send any more”! It feels like much of our prayer time is dedicated to begging God to provide more workers.
Please share some specific prayer request with us.
Ha ha, more workers 🙂 Personally, we are begging God daily for wisdom. It seems that we are often making decisions that effect us, our kids or our workers or colleagues that are life-changing. So, please pray that we will make wise God-centered decisions.
What are some current needs that you have and what can we do to help meet those needs?
We are coming up to our first home assignment as a family. This will be the first time our son has lived in the US and the first time our daughter will remember being in the US. We need to find a place to live, a school for our children to attend and a vehicle to get us around for a year. While we are looking forward to Taco Bell and Target and renewing relationships with our friends and family, it is actually stressful to think of all that has to be done within the year that we are in the US.
Meet Some of Our Other FBM Missionaries:
- Kathy Miller
- Tim & Janice Phillips (part 1)
- Tim & Janice Phillips (part 2)
- Ken & Sarah Beckley
- Cindy Faile
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